Stress on the job causes about 1 million American employees to miss work each day. Are you one of them? Find out more about the damage workplace stress can cause.
True or false: There's no evidence linking workplace stress to heart attacks.
False. Stress at work can increase the risk for weight gain, high blood pressure and high cholesterol levels. These factors can up your risk for heart disease and heart attack.
True or false: Feeling stressed out by your job is different from feeling challenged by your job.
True. Challenge is a vital ingredient for healthy and productive work. It can push us to learn new skills and be better at our jobs. Challenge is energizing. Stress, on the other hand, is exhausting. It depletes our energy and lowers our morale.
True or false: Short-lived episodes of stress are just as damaging to our health as chronic stress.
False. Short-lived or occasional stress doesn't pose as much of a health risk as chronic stress. However, when stress doesn't ease up, the body remains in a chronic fight-or-flight state. This continual state of alert reduces the body's ability to repair itself and defend against illness and disease.
True or false: Small breaks don't do anything to help ease workplace stress.
False. Taking breaks as short as 10 minutes—like to go for a walk—can be enough to help improve your mental outlook. Walking away from intense situations can help you clear your head as well and help keep stress from taking over the situation.
True or false: Managing workplace stress may mean adopting several strategies.
True. Taking breaks may help you relieve stress, but there are many other strategies that you may consider to help you cope. Some possible solutions may include exercise, improved nutrition, improved time management and social skill development.
Everyone feels stress now and then—both on and off the job. If you think stress is negatively affecting your life, talk to a doctor about ways to reduce it.
Sources: American Institute of Stress; American Psychological Association; Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; Mental Health America